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Breaking Down the Call – Part 3

July 5, 2024
Breaking Down the Call - Part 3

In Step 1, we covered the time commitment needed for doing your job the right way and having the homeowners’ attention when you’re done so you can make recommendations without skipping steps. In Step 2, we talked about obtaining permission to show the homeowner problems discovered during the inspection or walk through.

Step 3

The next step is probably the most important, and that is building the relationship. Obviously, you’re going to build the relationship throughout the course of the call, but you have to start that process right out of the gate.

What are some of the techniques we use to build a relationship with a customer? It’s really not much different than building one with a friend, your kids or a spouse.

You have to show genuine concern for them and for their interests. And one of the best ways to do this is to ask sincere questions. Imagine if you were being introduced to someone and there was silence over the next 30 minutes. It would feel off. But if one of you began a dialogue with the other, it would feel like interest was being shown, progress was being made, a friendship was beginning.

Questions can pass the time, yes, but they can also help to find common ground between two people. And good questions lead to follow-up questions and a real conversation. But people can tell the difference when you’re being polite and when you’re being sincere, so it’s always the best route to genuinely care about their lives and the answers to your questions.


And to become really good at this, I recommend you develop a high sense of curiosity. When you want to know about people, refer to the old Zig Ziglar form method, F-O-R-M. It stands for Family, Occupation, Recreation, Material possessions. It’s an easy formula to remember for driving conversations forward.

Family – “Mr. and Mrs. Homeowner. Tell me about your family. Are you guys from Colorado Springs originally? No? When did you move here from back east? How did you decide on Colorado Springs, of all the places you could live? Do you have other family here or is all of your family back in Jersey?”

Questions like these indicate you may be someone who is interested in their individual story. We all came from somewhere to where we are now, so what is their unique story?

Occupation – What do they do for a living and what interested them in that line of work? Maybe they work from home and you notice an office set up for that purpose.

Everything we see while in the home is a data point, but a personal one to that family. Make sure your questions are generic enough that they do not invade their privacy. Knowing how personal your questions can be is a skill learned after years of being in front of many different types of customers.

Recreation – “Those are some very interesting portraits on the wall. Is someone here a professional photographer?” “I saw a soccer net in the driveway; is there a future pro goalie in the house?”

Material Possessions – “I noticed you have a boat out back. How often do you get to take it fishing?” “I saw the Honda out front. I have one just like it. Are you getting the advertised miles per gallon from it? Mine seems to be off a bit.”

You have to show genuine interest in your homeowners and ask questions about their life, and then hear their answer and continue the conversation.

Otherwise, you send a very strong message. you don’t give a s***. And if you don’t give a s*** about them, why should they listen to you an hour from now when you start making recommendations? They won’t.

Listen, the reason I’ve made a lot of money in this business is because I genuinely care about what’s going on with people. I’m interested. I’m curious. I read a lot of books on human interaction and what makes people tick. It can take years to become a good conversationalist. You have to be great at being curious. And not cross the line into coming across as nosy.

And all good salespeople are curious. If you don’t give a s*** about people, don’t be surprised when they don’t give a s*** about you. It’s the golden rule. Simple as that.

And I know sometimes it’s awkward and you’ll get some customers who don’t want to talk. I get it. That’s fine. All you can do is the best you can do. But you have to give it a shot by doing your part.

So you’ve got to ask questions. You’ve got to show genuine interest. And as I often say, one of the most effective ways to build a relationship is to ask their advice about something.

Because who do you ask advice from? You ask advice from people you like and trust.

If I have a mechanical issue, I ask my brother or I ask someone in the know. And that shows that I trust their opinion. If they tell me what to do, I trust that opinion. That shows respect.

So, when you ask your homeowner about the boat, about the Harley, about the fishing, take the time to ask their advice.

“Mr. and Mrs. Homeowner, I see you got that boat out back. I’ve never had a boat before, but I’ve always been interested. Would you recommend I look into purchasing a new or used one for my first boat?”

You’ll find that they usually will open up to you because you’re asking for help and they’ll be more than happy to give advice. When you’re face to face with someone asking for help, people usually oblige.

And I’m telling you, there is a direct correlation between the strength of the relationship and the average ticket. Because if they have a strong relationship with you, they tend to take your advice and follow your recommendations. And if you’ve done a good job and have brought problems to their attention, they’ll likely help themselves and your bottom line in return.